What the Stand’s new epilogue adds to Stephen King’s story

The Stand features an expansion of the ending of the original novel written by Stephen King himself. This is what adds the ending to the story.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The support Episode 9, “The Circle Closes,” now airs on CBS All Access.

One of the most hyped elements of CBS All Access’s adaptation of The support was that original author Stephen King was joining the production to write the miniseries finale. Series showrunner Benjamin Cavell revealed that King felt for years that main character Frannie Goldsmith did not have the opportunity to have her own direct confrontation with evil, like many of the other main characters in the story, due to her pregnancy. Seizing the opportunity to join the production, King gives Frannie her due in the finale … but what does the expanded coda add to the overall story?

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Taking place as Frannie and her husband Stu Redman make their cross-country move back to Frannie’s coastal hometown in Maine, the epilogue has the happy couple separated during a seemingly routine pit stop in Nebraska. While Frannie takes care of her baby Abagail in an abandoned house to rest, Stu goes to a nearby town to gather supplies for the rest of his long trip to Maine. Though evidently killed in a devastating nuclear explosion, Randall Flagg is revealed to be alive and causes Frannie to fall down the well in the house, and the young mother suffers many serious injuries on impact.

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As Frannie lies broken and unconscious at the bottom of the well, she is given the opportunity to face good and evil head-on as King intended. In a rainforest, Frannie confronts Flagg and refuses to give in to his demands, even after he threatens Stu, reveals the full extent of his real-world injuries, and offers him a chance to save his baby from die without his mother there to save. its. And after rejecting Flagg, Frannie has one last conversation with the divine Mother Abagail, who reminds her of the meaning of hope and faith, before revealing that Frannie will give birth to five additional children in the course of her marriage to Stu. , while a younger version of the character heals all of Frannie’s wounds when her returning husband draws her from the well.

Even beyond giving Frannie more agency and courage by having her play a more active role against Flagg, the epilogue shows that just as Flagg is an eternal personification of ultimate evil, constantly reborn, so is Mother Abagail as the ultimate personification. of good. And when Frannie and Stu return to Ogunquit, Maine with their baby in tow, Frannie privately reveals to Stu that the visions she received from Flagg and Mother Abagail made it clear that the potential of what each of the two figures represent exists. in all. letting each individual take their own position to decide which way to go.

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King’s expanded epilogue to his own story does not in any way retract from his original 1978 novel, but instead plays within the confines of the world and the story that he established decades ago. More than a fitting send-off and expansion of Frannie’s role in the story and the battle between good and evil, King takes the time to unveil her story’s mission statement every time, though perhaps a little too much in the nose on its delivery. And with the adaptation that received support and direct input from King, the miniseries serves as a relatively faithful translation of the acclaimed author’s vision.

Starring James Marsden, Odessa Young, Jovan Adepo, Owen Teague, Greg Kinnear, Amber Heard, Henry Zaga, Nat Wolff, Brad William Henke, Irene Bedard, Whoopi Goldberg, and Alexander Skarsgård, The support it now airs on CBS All Access in its entirety.

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